Forgiving others can be a delicate matter that you may be quick to avoid. Willingness is going to play an essential role in having the ability to forgive your loved one for their actions acted out in addiction as they enter recovery.
The Process of Forgiving Others
Contrary to what people may pressure you into believing, forgiving others is not a forced requirement in life, but it does set you free. When you are able to see that people aren’t necessarily bad, good, right, or wrong but merely sick individuals trying to get better, then you will be on your way to forgiving. The stages that ultimately work together in allowing you the capability of forgiving others like your loved one who is suffering from addiction may be painful as you go deal with feelings of anger, guilt, and sadness. Keep in mind that you should not hold the expectation of your loved one divulging all of their very worst defects of character. The true reason behind you not keeping this expectation is to protect yourself because, assuming they have a strong sober support network, the recovering individual should be advised not to exert such heavy intimate troublesome admissions prematurely if it is at the expense of perishing what is left of the healthiness in the relationship with you.
There may come a later time when they can further open up to you about more specific details, but when they are taking ownership and having some accountability for the first time by beginning to make their amends, the particulars may not be as revealing for your own personal benefit. This should help reinforce the idea of forgiving others like your loved one while making it seem less overwhelming because you won’t be instantly reminded of all the distressing circumstances in which you felt betrayed and devastated by their specific selfish natures attributed from a direct result of their disease of addiction. When an addict and/or alcoholic begins to go too far in depth about their faults and focuses on putting emphasis on specific harsh details of the past far too soon, it can cause more harm than provide much good for either of you. This is not to say that the addict and/or alcoholic won’t be admitting their wrong. Actually, it’s quite the opposite because when your loved one has approached you to make amends, they are acknowledging the damage they have done to you and are putting in the effort to rectify the harm they have caused.
The act of forgiving others can be distressing. Try not to direct all of your focus on what your loved one has done during active addiction and remember that they are making positive changes in their life now. It can be hard to move forward, but you should try not to hold the past against them while still remaining guarded in protected prudence.
Is your loved one still clinging on to that next drink and/or drug, leaving you conflicted with where to turn for help with their addiction? The Watershed can guide your loved one through the recovery process and show them a way to live without the use of alcohol and/or drugs.